I was lucky enough to have my Italian uncle Pat make this for me all through my teens. I like to think now that it sustained me more than physically. I could eat this every day and never get tired of it - it's the perfect bread.
- 1⁄4 ounce active dry yeast (one envelope)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sugar
- 4 -4 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons dried rosemary, crumbled
- 3 -5 garlic cloves, minced very fine (depending on how garlicky you want it, I go all the way!)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sea salt or 1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
- In a bowl, stir together yeast, sugar and 1 ¾ cups lukewarm water and proof yeast for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.
- Stir in 4 cup of flour, 1 tblsps of the olive oil and the salt, adding as much of the remaining flour as necessary to form a soft and slightly sticky dough.
- Transfer to a lightly-oiled bowl, turn to coat, and let rise, covered, in a warm place for 1 hour, or until double in size. Knead dough down and press with lightly-oiled hands into a well-oiled 15 ½ x 10 ½ inch jelly-roll pan and let it rise, covered loosely, for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Set rack in center of oven.
- Dimple dough with your fingers in places, drizzle 2 tblsps olive oil over and spread over dough; sprinkle with rosemary, garlic and sea salt.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until pale golden. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Note: I often make up the garlic/oil/rosemary mixture one or two days ahead of time and refrigerate it. Dried oregano is also a GREAT add-in.